Day 86 - I Think We Got Away With MurderJuly 17, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C
Woke up to the news that the electric sockets at home weren’t working. I did my packing, whilst Jackie stressed about it & was arranging for electricians to attend from all over the county!
At 10.50am, we were all packed & in the car for our final journey. We tapped in the destination as JFK International Airport on my phone & had a heart attack, the route would take 9 hours 58 minutes. We tried the same thing on Jackie’s phone & it came up with the same result. Shit, we had totally miscalculated how long it would take to get to the airport, it was unlikely that we would make it in time for our flight, let alone dropping the car off at Enterprise & all that drama first.
A couple of minutes later, we had solved the riddle of our extra long journey & it was because both our phones were set to avoid Tolls. When we resolved this, the journey was just 3 hours 8 minutes. Plenty of time!
We cruised through The Wildwoods & came to the realisation that the southern end where we had stayed was the classier end. The middle of The Wildwoods was more like Blackpool!
We then joined the Garden State Parkway North, which was a Toll Road. I lost count, but every 20 or 30 minutes, we were handing over either $1.50 or $0.75 cash, which we hadn’t anticipated. Jackie holding the purse strings was getting nervous that we would run out of cash before we got to New York. We stopped for fuel & for the 1st time on our trip, we discovered that in New Jersey it is the law that only a petrol pump assistant can fill your car with fuel.
On the outskirts of New York, we joined Interstate 95, then Interstate 278 & the traffic got more & more busy & the driving more & more manic. We didn’t need any more dents on Doodle. On these roads we still had more tolls, somewhere just outside New York we paid $1.60 at one toll, then less than half a mile later we paid $15 at a toll, yes we couldn’t believe it either, which literally wiped us out of cash.
Our route took us over Goethals Bridge, thus taking us into our final State, New York State. We crossed Verrazano - Narrows Bridge & picked up Belt Parkway West into the Borough of Brooklyn. It was chaotic, with drivers deliberately trying to hit us or so it felt. Every car around us seemed to be covered in dents.
After passing Coney Island, we pulled up at a McDonald’s on Avenue U, just north of Brighton Beach to take refuge & stock. Firstly it was the cleanest McDonald’s we have ever been in. We ordered our meal & rehearsed our story for when we got to Enterprise Car Rental.
We agreed on a two part story. We would admit from the outset that we had a ‘tiny’ bit of hail damage on our bonnet & hope that our ‘honesty’ would possibly distract them from all the other damage. If, but more likely when, they saw the bumper damage, we would say that it occurred when we were trying to seek shelter from the hailstorm to prevent further damage. Hopefully it would mean that all that damage could be claimed as one continuous incident on our insurance. We would then have to just pay for the criminal damage to the top of the bumper. Neither of us were looking forward to the car rental return procedure & could now think of nothing else.
Time was starting to push on so we headed towards JFK International Airport, passing Rockaway Beach & entering into the Borough of Queens. We drove past JFK to a Walmart in Valley Stream, for some snacks & more flip flops. They didn’t have any!
In the car park, we had one final dress rehearsal of our story for Enterprise, then fuelled up for a final time. With trepidation, we drove to Enterprise, making sure we had our best friendly game faces on. We drove into the Enterprise car park & an employee guided us where to park.
It was 5.00pm as we climbed out of Doodle, now in character with our butter wouldn’t melt smiles. The cheery employee immediately started to look at the front of the car, then started to circle it with a maybe less than critical eye, whilst we dragged our rucksacks out & engaged him in banal conversation. He asked me for the keys & I suddenly got the distinct impression that he had not noticed any damage. As he was keying information in to his tablet in the drivers seat, I desperately tried to get Jackie’s attention to not say anything about the damage.
Our Enterprise man, then got out of the car, confirmed we were expecting the fee for 33 days car hire to be, around $1300, then gave us a printed receipt & thanked us. No, thank you. We had driven Doodle a total of 6,712 miles in those 33 days.
We gathered up our belongings as quickly as we could, ran & jumped on their courtesy bus. WoW, we could not believe it & did everything we could to stop ourselves jumping for joy, particularly on their courtesy bus!
In Terminal 1, we treated ourselves to a couple of celebratory beers, which turned out to be the ‘World’s Most Expensive’ beers, $47 for 4 beers, outrageous. At 7.00pm we checked in for the flight home with Norwegian Air, then went through security.
This was the end to a long, tiring, exhilarating, fascinating, wonderful etc etc trip. I have just totted it up & we have driven exactly 15,089 miles on this trip.
Songs of the Day - Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel
Bonus Songs of the Day :-
Getting Away With Murder by Papa Roach
Wild Wood by Paul Weller
Coney Island Baby by Lou Reed
Rockaway Beach by The Ramones
English Rose by The Jam
Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Welcome Home by Peters & Lee
That’s All Folks!Read more